Just as Lois Maynard is about to sell the family's summer home, her domineering and troubled older sister, Judith, returns and a mysterious murder disrupts the household.
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A cast of unusually appealing characters
I've read the book many times; when read aloud, it unfolds in Rinehart's unhurried, beautifully nuanced style.
Lots of cliff-hangers here; even knowing in advance who dunnit and what's coming, still a pleasure.
She reads beautifully, with just enough change to make all the characters individuals. Her own voice has just the cultivated, well-educated cadence and accent that Miss Maynard certainly had.
It would have to be the narrator, Miss Maynard, trying to cope with harsh realities, when her wealthy, privileged past had not prepared her for post-depression life with only three servants, or earning a living. Or murder.
As all of Rinehart's plots, this one has layers, like an onion. Murder to cover up a social scandal seems pretty old fashioned, but the book is memorable because of the cast of charming, believable characters.
- ernest drown